More than two-thirds of African Americans polled by CNN said that Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of race relations, outlined in his “I have a dream” speech, has been fulfilled. Just 46 percent of whites felt the same way. The poll was released on Monday—the holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader and the day before the inauguration of the first black U.S. president. (CNN)
What the commentators said
Obama's election proves we've come a long way toward racial equality, said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. Glenn Reynolds said in his blog that whites are more pessimistic because of lingering white guilt. But the truth is that white Americans haven't lived the black experience and aren't as aware of the barriers that exist, so we don't feel it's our place to "make the call."
"Racism still exists in America," said The Oklahoman in an editorial, but there's no denying that Obama's elevation to the highest office in the land marks the realization, in large part, of King's dream. This should renew the hope that we will soon reach other milestones of progress that King envisioned.
"I wish Martin Luther King were here to see a Dream coming true," said Leonard Pitts in The Miami Herald. But not just King. "I wish Emmett Till, Jimmie Lee Jackson, Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner, Viola Liuzzo and all the other martyrs were here." And Rosa Parks, along with so many other soldiers of the civil rights era. "They are dead now," but this inauguration day we saw that the things they gave live on.
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